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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  September 11, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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hearing ended protesters mobbed former officer lane who returned to his car. the officers a lot of love there will be no resolution for months. the ex-officers aren't set to go to trial today. >> they are treating his paws until at least next march. gabe gutierrez, nbc and hopefully he's okay. news. still ahead inside >> "nightly news" is coming up next and that exclusive interview with governor newsom. the national guard cybersecurity mission to protect the vote. tonight the deadly wildfire disaster. dozens of fires still out of control in california, more than 20 now dead, half a million forced to evacuate in oregon tens of thousands in the path of the flames in california. is the state doing enough to prevent the fires? we asked the governor in our exclusive interview. plus, the role of climate change, why are we seeing these intense blazes so early into the season? the new pandemic timeline, dr. anthony fauci on when a vaccine will be widely distributed and when the country might get back to normal as he disagrees with the president on whether we've rounded the final turn in all this. marking 9/11 in the middle of another
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deadly crisis, the presidential campaign on pause with mike pence and joe biden bumping elbows as the nation honors the victims and heroes. the family of george floyd speaking out with new demands for justice. as all four former officers charged in his killing appear in court. are they pointing the finger at each other as election day nears we're inside a vital military mission with the national guard trying to protect the vote >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone tonight much of the "washington post" coast is smothered in a blanket of smoke and midsry, in california at least 20 lives have been lost to the more than two dozen major fires burning, thousands of homes destroyed. in oregon a massive evacuation is under way while a list of the missing grows. tonight with millions in the west living under a pall of unhealthy air.
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in an exclusive interview, the governor tells us what we were fearing is here. >> reporter: facing the most explosive conditions they've ever seen firefighters are losing homes and lives, across the west at historic rates, propelled by 45 mile an hour winds. butte county's bear fire has claimed at least ten lives with 16 still missing visiting the scene of this unfolding catastrophe, california's governor sitting down exclusively with nbc news. >> you've seen a lot of wildfires in your life, what do you make of the ones you've seen this year >> this is america fast forward california, the west coast of the united states, that includes washington and obviously oregon, are experiencing what people predicted would occur in 2040, 2050. but we're experiencing it today. >> reporter: california's nightmare now a searing reality for tens of thousands with homes still in the path of flames
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among the nearly 30 major infernos that are out of control today in california, the creek fire near fresno incinerated neighborhoods in minutes. >> there is no downtime because mother nature doesn't give us that. >> reporter: on the front lines we saw firsthand why this blaze alone will threaten lives and property into the winter. >> reporter: the lingering threat for firefighters continues a week after the blaze erupted. this is the problem. there is so much dry fuel here the blaze could burn for months. >> reporter: with california tor torching through its budget to fight fires critics say the state isn't doing enough. >> we could get more aggressive, forest management, prevention strategy, land use back now with our strategies, technologies on vote watch series and suppression and our personnel in terms of a look at how states are working to prevent pre-positioning a lot election interference, of our assets but all part of an unusual there is something so fundamental that also cannot be denied and that is climate new mission for the
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change national guard >> reporter: it's not just california >> reporter: last struggling to contain the flames november the north carolina national in oregon half a dozen guard helped win the towns decimated when walls of fire exploded battle against isis in over the region. thousands of homes may syria. now a new mission at be gone. tonight 500,000 home, helping protect people, or 10% of those who live in carolina's elections we're with lieutenant oregon, have received evacuation alerts. colonel seth bar ren at the election >> we were trying to officer in rural warren county. there are 13,000 save everything. registered voters here. >> i've got five but -- soldiers on the ground >> reporter: tony and doing a cybersecurity his wife robin trayed to save their home and assessment on their critical business but lost it infrastructure. >> reporter: the team, all. five to ten they took this video cyberexperts is crossing the state, before they fled. scanning election systems for security >> just looked at the vulnerabilities. fire, it is the first what is an actual time in my life i felt assessment look like defeated. >> reporter: with the for a county like this >> we'll dig into west choking in smoke, their network the air quality in cities across the configurations, their server configurations, region are among the worst in the world their computer the toxic haze configurations we say here's what we blanketing skies as would do to fix it. far as a thousand >> reporter: miles away. cybersecurity help, >> you don't need to the county election be anywhere near this fire to actually be director told us she suffering from it. needs. >> reporter: why is the guard's help
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how worried are you about the health conditions of folks in this state. >> the air we're important to a county like this. breathing right now is equivalent to smoking >> i'm a small county 20 packs of and it allows me -- it cigarettes affords me the this is profound and consequential, the health impacts, opportunity to feel comfortable with my i.t. and where i am strokes, heart compared to a larger attacks, respiratory county in the state. issues this is a challenging >> reporter: the north carolina national guard has worked with time and we'll get through more than 30 of the it >> reporter: tonight state's 100 county across the west lives election offices and livly hoods are on but north carolina's not the only state using its national guard for this type of the line as an unfolding disaster mission. according to the becomes a new national guard bureau permanent reality, more than 30 states engulfing the region have expressed in waying we have interest in national never experienced guard election cybersecurity help u.s. intelligence before miguel almaguer, nbc recently warned russia news, the sierra is trying to undermine national forest. joe biden's campaign as you just heard while china and iran from the governor this want president trump to lose. fire emergency is drawing new attention at north carolina's state command center they look for to the role of climate potential cyberattacks change in proprotoi moting on infrastructure as conditions that fuel well as misinformation these kinds of blazes. steve patterson has and disinformation on more on that. social media 24/7. >> reporter: the images are stark, the impact staggering. >> so this is the wild foois across the situation room >> reporter: their work already paying off this year, according to the state west spreading and scientists warning climate change is election board's making it worse. >> there is, indeed, a director. >> we were in the midst of preparing for clear link between record heat and climate change. >> reporter: and that an election, getting
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heat creating warm, our absentee by dry conditions for wildfires to explode, right now there are mail -- one of our nearly 30 major fires counties did have an attack and they worked burning across the directly with us to make sure our election golden state, six of the largest in operations did not stop. california's history >> it was a breaking out this cyberattack in another rural county back in year adding to the record breaking heat and bone dry conditions miles of dry brush and densely packed forest, february, phish a devastating emails -- making sure cocktail, stoking a historic outbreak of no impact on anything related to elections mega fires. now with 52 days >> there's dense vegetation, the before the election climate is warmer and the national guard more conducive to expected to help even more states, lester? extremefire behavior and you have a lot of >> courtney, thank people living in you. potentially harm's up next, 9/11, way. >> reporter: this is the result, acres of run ic recognizable resilience amid the pandemic scorched earth and in many cases it starts with just a spark. >> reporter: officials say a 13,000 acre fire was started by a pyrotechnic device used in a gender reveal stunt in 2018 california's most destructive wildfire in history sparked by the state's largest power company. they were found liable
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for not maintaining the forest adequately, killing 85 people. a hundred years of overgrowth turned trees into match sticks waiting to be struck. >> what we now have is too many trees in our forests so that when fires do occur, they burn bigger, hotter and the impacts are dramatically greater. >> reporter: conditions have gotten so bad here in california that fire season is really all year round it's why some experts say that prescribed burns can actually cut back on the amount of fuel andreduce some of these devastating fires. lester >> all right, steve patterson, thanks. tonight a stark new assessment from dr. anthony fauci on the covid pandemic and when life as we know it might return. it came in an exclusive interview with andrea mitchell we have two reports on the pandemic this evening. starting with nbc's tom costello >> reporter: eight months into the pandemic the nation's top infectious disease expert is tonight offering a sobering
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new pandemic timeline. an approved vaccine by the end of the year or early 2021 widespread distribution by midnext year and a return to normal sometime after that. >> if you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to covid it's going to be well into 2021. maybe even towards the end of 2021. >> reporter: meanwhile dr. fauci and dr. deborah birx are trying to slow a new spread of covid after the labor day weekend, especially among people who are asymptomatic. >> if you've been on vacation, gon to a hot spot, gone to a party in the neighborhood, if you took your mask off and were not socially distant you need to get tested. >> reporter: test results are coming back much faster than the we can to ten days it took last month the nih reports 97% of results are now back twn three days in scottsdale, arizona, commonspirit health is able to process 10,000 samples
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each day for hospitals in 21 states results within 36 hours. >> we have so many asymptomatic people in the country. they don't know they have covid they don't know that they're potentially exposing many people to it. >> reporter: also tonight a new cdc report suggests small children can transmit the virus. 12 children acquired covid in child care centers, then spread it to parents and siblings one parent had to be hospitalized two of three asymptomatic children were spreading covid. >> we know from modeling studies that about 50% of the transmission occur from a person who's without symptoms to someone who's uninfected >> reporter: those infected but asymptomatic continue to pose the biggest challenge. tom costello, nbc news, washington. >> i'm andrea mitchell in washington where tonight the conflict between president trump and the nation's top infectious disease expert is out in the open dr. anthony fauci disagreeing with what the president said in
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michigan last night. >> we're rounding the turn you see what's happening, you see the numbers are plunging. >> reporter: but dr. fauci the same day saying it was time to hunker down. how do you square finally, there's those two messages something to be learned 19 years after >> i'm sorry, i have to disagree with that. the tragedy of 9/11, because if you look at perhaps it is a lesson the thing you just in how to come back mentioned, the again. statistics, andrea, here's harry smith >> reporter: when we take a few seconds the they are disturbing. >> reporter: those numbers, nearly 40,000 memories come flooding cases a day in the u.s., and 1,000 back, the shock, the sorrow, the heroism of deaths. >> when people will be spending more time 9/11 indoors, and that's the fear friends here in new not good for a york talked about moving out respiratory born virus you don't want to start off already with some did we wondered out loud a baseline that's so about when it would feel normal again. high. >> reporter: another disagreement those large campaign rallies, even safe that first subway outdoors, without social distancing or ride, a knee knocker the first flight, we held our breath. masks. >> just because you're outdoors does not mean lower manhattan you're protected, battered and scarred particularly if you're in a crowd and you're not wearing masks. tourists came just to >> reporter: as for what the president see the hole it didn't happen told bob woodward overnight. but after a while our about the pan deppic. >> i wanted to always dread turned to play it down i still like playing it down. determination. the city came back to >> reporter: those life
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were his words. in many ways it was >> there were better disagreements as you know there were times we were better when i was out there telling the american we mourn now again and public how difficult this is, how we're having a really miss our pre-covid serious problem and lives. we marvel at the the president was heroism of the saying it's something frontline workers and that's going to disappear which obviously is not the pray for the day when case life is more like it when you downplay something that is used to be, less really a threat that's not a good thing. >> reporter: asked virtual, more face to about pressure for him face, less bound, more to say school children do not need masks. free a day when jobs come >> that's a fool's back, and anxiety goes errand, no one's going to pressure me or out of business. we love a comeback muzzle me to say anything publicly. >> reporter: dr. for story. key said as we enter how about we write the fall and winter we another one? have to do everything harry smith, nbc news. we can to prevent an ode to our further surges and not let politics get in resilience we will the way. never forget lester. >> andrea mitchell tonight, thank you. we pause to that's "nightly news," remember where we were before we go, a on this day in 2001 programming note, alexander vindman, key and remember those we witness in president lost honoring the victims of the 9/11 attacks 19 trump's impeachment speaking out exclusively in his first ever tv years later. interview right here on monday. thank you for here's rehema ellis. watching, everyone, i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night >> reporter: the chiming of bells and
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moments of silence, tributes that have become tradition. >> it's healing. there's strength in numbers. when you realize you're not alone in it it's a comfort. >> reporter: but on a day where one tragedy is being remembered in the midst of another there were changes right now at 6:00, it's not masks required, hand sanitizer stations orange or yellow, our skies are no central stage. now gray and very unhealthy, and >> antonio jose it could be this way through the weekend. rodriguez. >> reporter: and a we have live team coverage pre-recorded reading of names by family answering the big questions members broadcast in about our air quality. the plaza. loved ones present, but socially the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for distanced. being with us on this friday. some family members unhappy with that change attended an alternate ceremony nearby. but norene quinn who >> jessica, raj, bad air quality lost her 23-year-old son jimmy 19 years ago means you are all cooped up today said she understands the need for restrictions and inside. would never miss a are you and your children going crazy? you are not alone. i talked to a child and family year. >> this is where we need to be today psychologist about the things i must be where i lost you might be feeling and how to my son i must be where my son cope when you're stuck indoors. died today. >> reporter: vice her tips coming up in just a few president mike pence and joe biden both attended the ceremony, greeting with a forearm bump minutes. >> thanks, janelle. biden stopping to
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how bad is the air today? console 90-year-old on the left you'll see the smoky maria fisher who handed him a photo of skies above 101. on the right the very unhealthy her son she lost on air quality of 216. 9/11. >> never goes away. >> never goes away. in oakland what you can even >> reporter: that before traveling to make out from our traffic camera shanksville, pennsylvania where he spoke to family members of those who which is basically nothing, some of the worst air quality at died on flight 93. president trump also paid tribute in 2:47. in fact the sithy has opened two shanksville today, focusing on honoring first responders and respite centers where people can sharing a message of get a break from all the smoke unity. >> no matter the there. let's go to stran. threat, no matter the air quality there 228, also very odds, america will always rise up, stand unhealthy. >> well, no one or no event is tall and fight back. immune from the smoke. >> reporter: commemorations were scaled back at the the 49ers might be forced to pentagon too, not even family members could attend the ceremony. postpone sunday's season opener but even in a year where so many are suffering, today the nation kept its promise to never forget rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. an american hero says 9/11 was his call to service and president trump honored major thomas payne the medal of
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honor. he was part of the elite delta force team that liberated dozens of iraqi civilians held hostage in an islamic state compound back in 2015 during an intense fire fight. back in 60 seconds with the day in court for the ex-officers charged in connection with george floyd's death and their different versions of what happened the day he died. plus, a surprising mission for the national guard
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the ex-police officers charged in george floyd's death appeared in the minneapolis courtroom for the first time today as new details emerge suggesting they could be turning on each other as they mount their defenses gabe gutierrez has the latest. >> reporter: with protesters and heavy security outside the courthouse the four fired minneapolis police officers charged in connection with george floyd's death appeared together in court for the first time. >> we allege the actions of the defendants illegally and unjustifiably ended george floyd's life. >> reporter: the
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ex-officer's lawyers asking a judge for separate trials. in court filings this week the attorney for thomas lane wrote there are likely going to be antagonistic defenses presented a the trial and it's plausible all officers have a different version of what happened and officers place blame on one another derek shoe vchauvin, is charged with second degree murder and manslaughter the others are charged with aiding and abetting but all face up to 40 years in prison if convicted. >> if you do the crime you do the time. so why is it different for these guys because we will get justice for my brother. >> reporter: rookie officers thomas lane and alexander kueng are arguing they were following the lead of chauvin, a veteran officer. chauvin and tou thao say they were assisting in an arrest in progress. calling his actions justifiable.
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some of the officers' attorneys highlight his drug use. >> the only overdose that killed george floyd was an overdose of excessive force, and racism b rorter: as the
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